Indiana RadioWatch: January 6, 2016

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A few issues ago, we asked former Indiana broadcasters to contact us, and let us know what they were up to:

Eldon Heatwole aka Al Janson. WLYV radio/Fort Wayne, WPTA-TV/Fort Wayne, WMEE radio/Fort Wayne, 20 years in broadcasting starting Armed Forces Radio part time in North Africa. Now retired and living in South Carolina.

Brian Giffin. Former Indianapolis Indians radio broadcaster and Butler University football PBP broadcaster. Currently Executive Producer/Engineer - Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Currently Radio Play by Play Broadcaster - Kennesaw State University 2015 (Brand new program that started play in September). On Facebook: Brian Giffin.

Jeff Weber had three stints in Indiana radio, LSM at WTTS-FM and WGCL-AM, Indianapolis/Bloomington from 1999-2001. His first GM position was at WBDJ-FM and WWCM-AM, Terre Haute, 1980-81. He served as Operations Manager at Z96 (WAZY-FM) and WAZY-AM, Lafayette from 1977-80. After his GSM post in Baltimore and three GM jobs in Albany over a span of 15 years, he took on the Executive VP position and later President of Business TalkRadio Network and its four owned stations. As of October 2014, he is a media consultant for more than half a dozen clients and is based in Delray Beach, Florida.

Before leaving broadcasting, Kevin Morse worked at WOWO Radio (Farm Director, then News Director). He's also worked at WOC/Davenport, Iowa, WGEN(AM)-FM/Geneseo, Illinois, and three additional Davenport, Iowa radio stations. Now, he's a Co-Manager with Walmart in Kendallville, IN...second in command of a store serving Noble County, Indiana...managing a staff of 285 associates. He volunteers with the Audio Reading Service, reading various publications for those are reading impaired.

Jon Quick worked fifteen years at WCCO in Minneapolis, Minnesota, then thirteen years at Emmis Communications/Indianapolis and then-WIBC(AM). Since then, he's been part of "Q Consulting Guys" (radio consulting) and he's the president and founder of QPR & Marketing, a full service advertising and PR agency.

Johnny George's Indianapolis radio career spanned from 1974 to 2006. Retired from radio (Susquehanna) when Cumulus bought property. Had been a part-time Voice Actor for 25 years at that time. Went full time that same year and have been since. Full studio at home. Pro Tools 11, Mac-based, producing voice tracks for my clients worldwide. Additionally, charter member of World Voices Organization out of Las Vegas. National voice for JD Byrider and a multitude of regional clients nationwide. or

Now, onto the news:


Adams Radio Group's Classic Country/WJFX-HD2 (107.9fm, New Haven) also heard on translator W277AK (103.3fm, Fort Wayne) drops that format, and adds an FM simulcast of sister Talk/WLYV (1450am, Fort Wayne).

Many changes on Fort Wayne's Butler Road: Home to (among others) ABC affiliate WPTA-TV (Channel 21, Fort Wayne) and NBC affiliate WISE-TV (Channel 33, Fort Wayne). In early November, Quincy completed its purchase of Granite Broadcasting and Malara Broadcasting. Quincy now owns WPTA-TV while SagamoreHill Broadcasting now owns WISE-TV, and Quincy implemented a shared services agreement with WISE-TV Both TV stations now have a new news director, as Alan Wagmeister arrives from Billings, Montana, where he was the news director at KULR-TV for three years. Also, longtime "21 Alive" news anchor Melissa Long retired. Former reporter Brien McElhatten returns as a co-anchor. Mr. McElhatten now anchors the evening news, and will have a new co-anchor sometime this year.

Nexstar FOX affiliate WFFT-TV (Channel 55, Fort Wayne) promotes newsroom manager Barbara Brooks to news director. Ms. Brooks joined "WFFT Local" when it re-launched local news in April 2009. Also, after nearly 18 months, Isabella Moller exits as reporter and joins KARK-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas as a reporter.

Northeast Indiana Public Radio's Talk-Jazz/WBOI (89.1fm, Fort Wayne) and Classical/WBNI (94.1fm, Roanoke) Chief Engineer Ed Didier exits, and joins Adams Radio Group/Fort Wayne in the same capacity.

Where Are They Now? Former WBTU PD Chris Sargent now programs and does afternoons ("Sarge") at KJR-FM in Seattle, Washington.

Where Are They Now? Former WPTA-TV/WISE-TV GM Jerry Giesler is now the News Director at KPAX-TV in Missoula, Montana.

Where Are They Now? Ned Foster retired at the end of November from KTAR-FM in Phoenix, Arizona. He once programmed WOWO.

Where Are They Now? Indiana radio veteran Mark Allen (Fort Wayne, Lafayette, South Bend, Warsaw) joins WECB in Dothan, Alabama as Production Director and afternoons.

Where Are They Now? Then-WNHT (and Then-WYLT) morning co-hosts Davin and Ana now host "The Frank Morning Show" at WFRQ ("Frank 93.5") on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


After several years in the GM chair, Clint Marsh exits as GM of the Federated Media/South Bend radio stations. Before South Bend, Mr. Marsh was the GM at Lake City Radio: WRSW(AM), WRSW-FM and WAWC-FM.

Quincy Broadcasting's FOX affiliate WSJV-TV (Channel 28, Elkhart) welcomes Allison Preston as morning anchor. Ms. Preston arrives from Michigan, where she was evening anchor at WBKB-TV in Alpena.

Where Are They Now? Former WBYT APD/MD/Morning co-host Lisa Kosty joins Chicago's WSHE-FM (100.3fm) in middays.

Where Are They Now? Former WSBT Radio and TV personality Mitch Henck now does a three hour talk show (8am until 11am, Central Time) at WXXM-FM in Madison, Wisconsin.


Where Are They Now? Former WMDH-FM PD/Mornings Shane Goad now handles afternoons at WASH in Washington, DC as "Jake West."


A tip of the IRW cap, as after over forty years in broadcasting, Radio One engineer Dave Hood retires. He's worked for many central Indiana radio stations: Anderson (What was then WHUT(AM)/WLHN-FM in Anderson for 26 years), Indianapolis (WFBQ/WNDE, Emmis) and then onto Radio One in Indianapolis, where he assisted John Takach.

E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WRTV-TV (Channel 6, Indianapolis) replaces its local weather with the LAFF Comedy Network on its 6.3 subchannel.

Ron Smiley exits morning meteorologist for Tribune Broadcasting's FOX affiliate WXIN-TV (Channel 59, Indianapolis) to morning/noon meteorologist KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Where Are They Now? Former WTHR-TV Senior Executive Producer Jeff Benscoter becomes the News Director at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Where Are They Now? Former Radio One/Indianapolis GM Deon Levingston exits as Market Manager for the Emmis radio stations in New York, after his contract expired.

Where Are They Now? Former WRTV-TV News Producer Mike Dreaden most recently worked for WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Dreaden earned a promotion to VP/News and Marketing for Television at Cox Media Group.

Where Are They Now? Former WRWM PD Jeff Andrews becomes GM for the Tejas Broadcasting cluster in Clovis, New Mexico.


Bott Radio Network signs on its WMCV (96.3fm, Farmersburg) from a tower site just off US-41 in Farmersburg.

Former Sarkes Tarzian's Hot AC/WAJI (95.1fm, Fort Wayne) middayer Mandi Michaels joins Emmis Communications' Country/WTHI-FM (99.9fm, Terre Haute) also for middays. Ms. Michaels replaces Mel McMahon, who returned to the Emmis/Indianapolis cluster. Also at "Hi 99," afternooner Jeff Reynolds exits and joins WKXC-FM in Augusta, Georgia for afternoons.

Covenant Network translator CP W281BG (104.1fm, Knightsville) applies to the FCC to increase power from 120 watts to 250 watts (at the same 39 feet) from a different tower site. The current CP calls for a site just off US-40 in downtown Brazil. The tower site on the application is north of Brazil, west of IN-59.

Where Are They Now? Former WMGI PD Natalie Randall exits KSPW in Springfield, Missouri.

Where Are They Now? Former WTHI-TV/Terre Haute News Director Genie Garner exits as News Director at WDJT-TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Where Are They Now? Former South Bend and Terre Haute GM Jack Swart becomes a GM for the Community Broadcasters radio stations in Sumter, South Carolina.


The Original Company Talk/WYFX (106.7fm, Mount Vernon) wants to move into the Evansville market. Just before the end of 2015, they filed an FCC application which proposes a move to 102.5fm with 6000 watts at 328 feet. That would be an increase from their current 3000 watts at 295 feet. WYFX would also move transmitter sites from a location just north of IN-62, west of Mount Vernon, to a site northwest of Evansville, north of IN-66. Also, they propose moving their Rock/WBTO-FM (102.3fm, Petersburg) to a new tower location. WBTO-FM's transmitter site is just off IN-61, north of Petersburg, and the new location would be northeast of Petersburg, just west of IN-57. Also, WBTO-FM would increase power from 3000 watts to 3200 watts, but drop antenna height from 321.5 feet to 197 feet.

Where Are They Now? Former WAZE-TV GM Lyle Schulze becomes GM at Raycom's WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina.

Where Are They Now? Former WSTO morning hosts Atom Smasher and morning co-host/middays Shawnda McNeal exit mornings at KHMX in Houston, Texas.

Where Are They Now? Former WSTO night host Claire Ballard exits iHeartMedia/Las Vegas.

Where Are They Now? Former WFIE-TV News Director CJ Hoyt joins KTVT-TV in Dallas, Texas as a Managing Editor.

Where Are They Now? Former WEHT-TV Reporter/Producer Daniela Perallon exits WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Alabama, and joins their local arts council as their PR/Marketing Manager.

Where Are They Now? Former WTVW-TV sports anchor and reporter Lon Tegels joins WVNS-TV in Beckley, West Virginia, as its News Director.

Today in Indiana Radio History

January 6: In 1948, 1480am, Terre Haute (now WPFR) signs on.

Employment Opportunities

Indiana Country - WKKG - South Central Indiana's #1 country heritage station, is looking for our next morning show superstar. If you can deliver an upbeat, LOCALLY relatable, music-driven show then send me your best stuff. Local is how we win, so you'll be expected to seek out ways to get involved in the community. We offer a competitive salary, great benefits including 401(k), excellent work environment and an exceptional community. E-mail your resume and demo to John Foster, Station Manager at jfoster at wkkg dot com. White River Broadcasting is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

That's it for this issue. See you in a week!

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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All pages Copyright Blaine Thompson. Articles, photos, corrections, and other contributions should be e-mailed to the editors.